ADDIS ABEBA – Residents in Addis Abeba have commemorated the 82nd Martyrs’ Day on Tuesday at the Martyrs’ Monument in the capital.
The massacre occurred as a vengeance to an assassination attempt by patriots AbrehamDobotch and MogesAsgedom, against the Viceroy of Italian in East Africa, Rodolfo Graziani during Italy’s brief occupation of Ethiopia.
Some 30,000 Ethiopians died during three-day campaign of terror in February 1937, according to the Ethiopian government.
Another 1,469 were summarily executed by the end of the next month, and over 1,000 Ethiopian notables were imprisoned and then exiled from Ethiopia.
The incident is considered as one of the worst atrocities committed by the Italian occupation forces and has been described as the worst massacre in east African nation’s history.
Representatives of Addis Abeba City Administration and Ethiopian Patriots’ Association laid wreath at the ‘martyrs’ monument’ at SidistKillo roundabout in honor the martyrs who lost their lives by the Italian Fascist forces.
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Ian Campbell, in his book published in America by Oxford University Press in 2017, writes:
Graziani was never prosecuted for crimes in Africa, though he was convicted for collaboration with the Nazis and briefly imprisoned.
Britain, wary of setting awkward precedents, played an outsized role in sheltering Italians with blood on their hands.
Few post-war Italian historians ever tackled the massacre.
Those that did were often denounced as unpatriotic. Angelo Del Boca, writing in the 1960s, was accused by the Italian army of being a “liar” for his research on Graziani’s crimes.
When “Lion of the Desert”—a film depicting his actions in Libya—was released in 1981, it was soon banned, for damaging the honor of the Italian army.
To this day Italian schoolchildren are not taught about the Addis Abeba massacre. Graziani is little known; his sins even less so. Campbell’s book has been welcomed by many in Ethiopia, which has long argued that its citizens deserve an apology (the daily monitor)